Rutherford Chang has created a project which has kind of fascinated a few of us Beatles freaks and record geeks of late, I thought I’d pass on some information about his endeavor to amass as many copies of The Beatles White Album as he can! He’s created a sort of record store/exhibit where folks can examine (and listen to) the various copies, and he will buy any copy you bring in. He’s organizing them by the number stamped on the front, the only thing (other than the (originally embossed) lettering “The Beatles” that’s on the cover of the package). Many of the old copies are scrawled upon by former owners, and the entire collection tells the story of one record and it’s impact on many different people. It’s prompted a lot of musings of various sorts—some of which I’ll outline here…
The exhibition is currently on view in SoHo:
We Buy White Albums
January 8 – March 9, 2013
Recess, 41 Grand Street, New York
Link to full article in Dust & Grooves: HERE
Here are some comments by our buddy Jeramy Lamano of Low Yo Yo Stuff Records, one of our favorite record stores anywhere, down in Athens, GA:
Oddly enough, the article has a nice picture of an Argentinian copy.
I wonder, is that one allowed in the exhibit?
I was just going through a stack of White Albums to see if I had any that met his criteria.
There are a few pix here:
I’d like to see the stash because an inquiring nerd like myself NEEDS to see/know if the alleged original label with the wrong titles is confined to a certain group of (the lowest?) numbers.
(seen here: http://instagr.am/p/V2duyKlwhf/)
I wonder if Mr. Chang knows or cares that there are duplicate numbers in the US (and UK) pressings?
Tim Neely, Goldmine Price Guide author says,
“In the USA, over 3,200,000 copies of the album were numbered. These albums were numbered at the different Capitol factories, and there are differences in the precise nature of the stamping used on the covers. Also, several copies of album #1 exist. Allegedly, 12 were made. I know of one copy that is simply stamped “1” (pressed in LA) and another copy that is stamped “A 0000001″ (pressed in Scranton).”
Here is a visual aid of the different US numbering styles, which also links to a page where you can ‘register’ your own copy of the White Album:
Another fun factoid, this one from http://www.beatlesagain.com/barchive/capitol.html :
“Another variation, usually not noticed, deals with the “banding” of the album. When Sgt. Pepper was released in England, the tracks were not separated (banded), but they ran all together. The US album WAS banded. When this album was released, apparently there was considerable sweat over whether the album should be banded: you’ll find some copies banded and others unbanded. Even copies pressed at the same factory differ in this way.”
I have one unbanded copy here, and it has the (allegedly later) “corrected” labels!
Here are the five label “errors”:
Side 1, Track 4 originally had ‘Obladi Oblada’ which was soon replaced to ‘Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da’
Side 1, Track 6 originally had ‘Bungalow Bill’ which was soon replaced to ‘The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill’
Side 4, Track 1 originally had ‘Revolution No. 1’ which was soon replaced to ‘Revolution 1’
Side 4, Track 5 originally had ‘Revolution No. 9’ which was soon replaced to ‘Revolution 9’
Side 4, Track 6 originally had ‘Goodnight’ which was soon replaced to ‘Good Night’
I’d love to run into the exhibit and shout,
“You’re filing them WRONG! Step aside!”
Apologies for the TMI,
PS – It’s almost as complicated as the After the Gold Rush LP!
Here’s Alan Licht’s copy (and the label), which he sent in:
Here’s my copy, a gift at Christmas-time, Dec 1968, upon it’s US release, which I just registered at the link above. I can remember my aunts and uncles dancing around the living room to Ob-la-di Ob-la-da! Everyone loved The Beatles, although not shortly after when John was taking dropping Christ’s name into The Ballad of John and Yoko…